THE (NOT SO) LONELY LITIGATOR’S CLUB (2): NIGEL POOLE QC
Second up in this series is Nigel Poole QC who is balancing the job of carrying on working alongside being Head of Kings Chambers. Nigel’s view of the importance of social interaction in the workplace is important, it balances the argument that “remote working” is an inevitable future.
1. Where are you working from now?
A bedroom at home converted into an office.
2. What has been most difficult about working remotely.
Being separated from others who share my world of work. The Bar has always been a sociable profession, one that has thrived on mutual support. At Kings there is also a great relationship between members, clerks and staff. It is difficult to be detached from the hub that Chambers provides.
3. What has been your biggest technical challenge?
The crisis has forced me to go paperless. I know I should have done it years ago anyway, but it is a big challenge. It is frustrating to have so many different forms or platforms by which paperless documents are sent to you, each requiring separate passwords to enter the vault, and then sometimes different passwords for individual documents.
4. Is there anything (work wise) that you wish you had with you?
Other people – work is about much more than just producing billable output. It is true that even before this crisis, it had become rare to have more than a handful of colleagues in Chambers at any one time, but I was fond of being in Chambers, seeing and chatting to others, sharing experiences and ideas.
5. What has been the most helpful thing you’ve learned.
How to use Adobe Pro DC, that Zoom existed, to have two screens, and that it is important when working at home to have a routine.
6. Do you think this is going to change the way you work in the future?
It ought to do so. We can be more efficient and less punishing of the environment if we work paperlessly, avoid regular commuting, and hole more remote meetings. However, I hope that we will balance those benefits face to face interactions once they are again safe. I have long been interested in how a modern Chambers can work. This crisis will focus our minds on how barristers can work both remotely but also collectively to benefit both our clients and ourselves in the future.
7. What is the first thing you are going to do when you are out of lockdown?
Visit my Mum and my parents in law. Then go for a walk with my wife in the English countryside followed by a pint or two and a meal in a lovely pub. Bliss!